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Impatience, Anticipatory Feelings and Uncertainty: A Dynamic Experiment on Time Preferences

  • M. Casari
  • D. Dragone

We study intertemporal choices through an experiment that elicits a subject's plan and then tracks its implementation over time. There are two main results. When facing a costly task to be completed under a deadline, two thirds of subjects prefer anticipating it rather than postponing it. Choice reversals are common although present-biased preferences alone cannot explain them. This evidence is compatible with models based on anticipatory feelings and stochastic utility.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp777.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp777
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  1. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Time discounting for primary and monetary rewards," MPRA Paper 10650, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Casari, Marco & Dragone, Davide, 2011. "Impatience, Anticipatory Feelings and Uncertainty:A Dynamic Experiment on Time Preferences," AICCON Working Papers 80-2011, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  3. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
  4. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
  5. Schelling, Thomas C, 1978. "Egonomics, or the Art of Self-Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 290-94, May.
  6. M. Casari & D. Dragone, 2010. "On Negative Time Preference," Working Papers 711, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  7. Robin Cubitt & Daniel Read, 2005. "Can intertemporal choice experiments elicit time preferences for consumption?," Discussion Papers 2005-16, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Azfar, Omar, 1999. "Rationalizing hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 245-252, February.
  9. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2010. "Moody Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 5005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-71, March.
  11. Halevy, Yoram, 2004. "Strotz meets Allais: Diminishing Impatience and the Certainty Effect," Microeconomics.ca working papers halevy-04-10-29-10-08-43, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2014.
  12. Casari, Marco, 2006. "Pre-Commitment and Flexibility in a Time Decision Experiment," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1183, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  13. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  15. Yoram Halevy, 2008. "Strotz Meets Allais: Diminishing Impatience and the Certainty Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1145-62, June.
  16. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  17. Alexander L. Brown & Colin F. Camerer & Zhikang Eric Chua, 2006. "Learning and Visceral Temptation in Dynamic Savings Experiments," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000048, UCLA Department of Economics.
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